There are times in your life when a seemingly unconnected series of events begins to align in a fortuitous way, and this was what happened when Jenny Snowball, with whom I was organising a charity Carol Concert, along with Major General Patrick and Melissa Cordingley, in December 2019 last year, called me one morning. “You have to get that wonderful man who has just won Britain’s Got Talent to sing at our concert in Salisbury Cathedral, “ she said. Well thanks, Jenny, but how on earth was I going to do that?
As always this was going to be a challenge for me but, going through all the correct channels and following up on every opportunity, I eventually tracked Colin Thackery’s agents down. I sent over all the details I could in hope we would hear back but heard nothing for some time. Then I had a message saying, “Of course I can – I would be delighted to perform at the concert in aid of ABF The Soldier’s Charity.” Those words still ring clear in my head and the excitement I felt was huge – I could not wait to tell the others, who were as thrilled as I was.
This was the start to the most wonderful relationship we all had with Colin – I have never met a kinder more giving person – nothing is ever too much and working with him was a dream.
On Friday 20 December 2019, a spectacular event took place in Salisbury’s iconic Cathedral. Nearly 1400 people flocked to the sold-out event to enjoy the much-anticipated Carol Concert in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and Help for Heroes. It was an outstanding success and made over £30,000 for the charities. The audience enjoyed a magical evening, within the stunning interior of the Cathedral, enthralled by the music and readings provided by a panoply of stars. It was a remarkable way to kickstart the Christmas Festivities.
Colin Thackery, the 89-year-old Chelsea Pensioner, brought the celebrity judges and studio audience to tears as he sang ‘Wind Beneath My Wings,’ in his audition for Britain’s Got Talent in 2019. This incredibly emotional performance was a tribute to Colin’s late wife Joan, and earned him four ‘Yeses’ from the judges: David Walliams, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell. Colin went on to win the 2019 competition.
During the Concert Colin, who is the oldest person ever to sign a record deal with Decca Records, sang Love Changes Everything followed by Wind Beneath my Wings. Accompanied by The Band and Bugles of The Rifles, Colin’s impassioned singing moved everyone.
Concerts like this are rare and this one was a triumph. It captured the magic of Christmas and will remain in the hearts of those lucky enough to attend for years to come. What is more, this extraordinary event raised over £35,000 essential funds for two profoundly important charities.
Now Colin is supporting us again and will be signing copies of his memoir: How Love Changed Everything by Colin Thackery, the life story of a war hero and winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2019. It’s an ‘incredible tale of survival, love, resilience, heartbreak and redemption.
‘Enthralling, poignant and inspiring, Colin’s autobiography tells his story, from being a child during the Blitz, through fighting in the Korean War, touring the world with the Army, becoming a widower after 66 years of marriage, life as a Chelsea Pensioner and touching the nation’s hearts with his show-winning singing in honour of his late wife, Joan,’ reads the synopsis.
Trevor Davies said: “Britain’s Got Talent gave the public an idea of what Colin’s story is about, but the detail is even more extraordinary than the headlines. For instance, during the War, at the tender age of 10, he hitch-hiked back from Luton, where he was evacuated, to help Air Raid Wardens during the Blitz. Colin’s story is so rich. It not only shows what people of his generation had to live through but is a story of one man’s devotion to his wife and a bond that endured even after Joan’s passing.”
Colin added: “I’m thrilled to be publishing my first book. I have so many memories I’m keen to share about growing up during the War, falling in love, serving my country abroad, singing around the world, Joan’s battle with cancer and my incredible journey in later life. With winning BGT and releasing my album, this past year has been another amazing episode in what I modestly admit has been a rather eventful life.
It all started with this phone call…and Colin is with us again and all proceeds of his book will go to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
All books will be signed by Colin personally and will be posted after the event in October.